An Open Letter to President Charles and Dean Schreiber

Students at San Francisco Art Institute have started a Tumblr page in reaction to an email sent to them by the president of SFAI, Charles Desmarais, explaining his position on the current visiting faculty union organizing drive. It's a must-see. From their page:

"I want to thank the SFAI administrative wing of our close-knit artistic community for giving our esteemed-part-time-members of our close-knit artistic community the chance to vote on wether or not they want to leave our close-knit artistic community and join SEIU’s not-so-close-knit non-artistic “community.” 

Thank you SFAI, President Desmarais, Dean Schreiber, and friends, for giving our visiting faculty this great gift.The letter you sent to students last night letting us know that this was all your idea—was like super inspiring. 

I particularly appreciated the bit towards the end where you offered your advice and insight on how the forced inclusion of this foreign entity (SEIU) into our close-knit artistic community would threaten the very fibers of our knitted togetherness, after all the SEIU is NOT an artist. And like an afghan blanket I once inherited from my poor old grandmother, when one thread snaps the whole thing is sure to unravel.

Now, some members of our close-knit artistic community have suggested to me that something you said towards the end of your email last night—that unionizing would have “little to no positive effect for the faculty”—was actually some sort of veiled threat. These nay-sayers and conspiracy theorists suggest that you might have meant to coerce visiting faculty members to vote “NO” by threatening that if they were to unionize, the administration would still fight them every step of the way—perhaps even harder than ever.

But this was obviously not your intention. 

I would like to suggest that SFAI invites its not-so-well-known member of its close-knit artistic community, fellow artist and lawyer, Ron Holland, to lead an info session in the lecture hall about the evils of unionization so that students can prepare themselves to strongly dislike their previously beloved visiting faculty for being so reckless with our precious community.

I would also demand that for his precious time, Ron Holland be compensated with an hourly commission higher than his usual going rate of $1,200 an hour. Don’t worry President, this time the students will pick up the tab (per usual).

Warm Regards,


Check out the page here.